UK | Monthly Round up – HR Employment Updates

National minimum wage

National Living Wage is extended to workers aged 23 and over and increases to £8.91 per hour. This shall come into force from 1st April, 2021. The national minimum wage increases:

 

  • from £8.20 to £8.36 for 21 to 22 year old
  • from £6.45 to £6.56 for 18 to 20 year old
  • from £4.55 to £4.62 for 16 and 17 year old
  • from £4.15 to £4.30 for apprentices.

 

Statutory payments

 

The UK government has announced the annual increases to various statutory compensation limits. The maximum amount for a week’s pay will increase to £544 per week (from £538 per week). The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal increases to £89,493 (from £88,519) where the effective date of termination is on or after 6 April 2021.

 

National Minimum Wage and sleep-in shifts

 

On 19th March, 2021, the UK Supreme Court gave their long-awaited decision in the cases of Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake and Shannon v Rampersad and another (T/A Clifton House Residential Home) with respect to whether workers who sleep-in to carry out their duties are entitled to the national minimum wage (NMW) for the full duration of their night shift. The Supreme Court held:

“For hours when workers are paid to sleep on the work premises, workers and employers should agree their allowance, as they do now. But workers should be entitled to the National Minimum Wage for all times when they are awake and required to be available for work.”

For more details, read our previous story HERE

 

Health and safety

 

The government has published the draft Employment Rights Act 1996 (Protection from Detriment in Health and Safety Cases) (Amendment) Order 2021 which will confer on workers the right not be subjected to a detriment for leaving, or refusing to return, to their workplace in circumstances where they reasonably believe it would put themselves or others in serious or imminent danger, or for taking steps to protect themselves. The Order is currently awaiting Parliamentary approval and is due to come into force on 31 May 2021.

For more details, read our previous story HERE

 

Pension Schemes Act, 2021

 

The Pension Schemes Act, 2021 is an important and wide-ranging piece of pensions legislation that will have a material impact for trustees of occupational pension schemes.

For more details, read our previous story HERE

 

Subsidy Control

 

A consultation for new regime on subsidy control has been introduced by the UK government. It closes on 31st March, 2021.

For more details, read our previous story HERE

 

UK Budget, 2021

 

The UK Budget was passed on March 3, 2021. It sets out guidelines to protect the economy, support the recovery and repair the public finances. It also aims to continuing to deliver first-class frontline public services, funding investment to level up across the whole of the UK, and creating an outward-looking, low-carbon, high-tech economy.

For more details, read our previous story HERE

 

Worker’s status

 

The Supreme Court has upheld the Court of Appeal’s decision that the Uber drivers in this case were ‘workers’ and were working when they had their app switched on and were ready and willing to accept trips. As ‘workers’ they would be entitled to a limited number of employment rights that are not available to self-employed contractors, including paid holiday and the national minimum wage. (Uber BV and others v Aslam and others)

For more details, read our previous story HERE

 

Gender pay gap reporting

 

The UK Government has published guidance on the gender pay gap reporting requirements and confirmed that employers with 250 or more employees must report and publish their gender pay gap information this year, following the one-off suspension of the requirements relating to the data for the 2019 reporting period due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Private employers must report and publish their gender pay gap information and written statement by 4 April 2021.

*Tanvi Singh, Editorial Assistant has put this story together.

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